Best Ryes | James B. Beam Distilling Co | Review | Rye Whiskey | The Olds

Every Old Overholt Rye Whiskey Reviewed [2021]

Last updated Mar 31, 2021

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by Matty Sims

Glencairn Whiskey Glass

Old Overholt Rye Whiskey is a historic brand. It was one of the first premium brand names in American whiskey and drank by the likes of Ulysses S. Grant and John Henry “Doc” Holliday. It also harkens back to the Old Monongahela style of rye whiskey (also known as, Pennsylvania-style). The brand was founded by the Overholds who came from Pennsylvania into Ohio (later to become Overholt). In 1810, Abraham Overholt took over the distillery. His grim mug is the face of Old Overholt even today on the label. Also, the old mill and distillery built by Abraham in 1859 can be visited today at the West Overton Village Distillery Museum.

Abraham passed in 1870 and the distillery continued to be operated by the family right up until Prohibition. Andrew Mellon was brought on as part-owner several years before prohibition and later became the majority partner as well as, in 1921, President Warren Harding’s secretary of the treasury. He was responsible for issuing “medicinal” whiskey licenses to distilleries. As you might suspect, Old Overholt received a license. That conflict later caused him to sell his stake in the distilleries.

As with many brands after prohibition, Old Overholt was eventually purchased by National Distillers. It languished for several years as rye whiskey experienced even more turmoil than bourbon. But eventually, Jim Beam purchased the brand in 1987. Beam breathed new life into the brand while also fundamentally changing the type of whiskey in the bottle. It was no longer Pennsylvania-style rye (typically just rye and malted barley). It now contained corn giving it a distinctively Kentucky flair. The rye whiskey now called Overholt is delicious but different. Most importantly, the Overholt legacy continues 200 years strong and onward.

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Old Overholt Bottled in Bond Rye Whiskey Review

Old Overholt Bottled in Bond Rye Whiskey

Old Overholt Bottled in Bond Rye Whiskey
Old Overholt BiB Rye WhiskeyDetails
Off the StillUnknown
In the BarrelUnknown
In the Bottle100 Proof
ABV50%
MashbillAt Least 51% Rye in Mashbill
Distilled and AgedClermont, KY
AgeNAS (At Least 4YO)
Suggested MSRP$25
DistilleryJim Beam Distillery
568 Happy Hollow Rd.
Clermont, KY 40110
ProsConsistent Drinking Experience
ConsMore Flavor Punch
AvailabilityNationwide
RatingSilver 89.6 out of 100 Points
InventoryBuy It

Nose – 89 out of 100 Points

Compared to the 80 proof, the floral aromas are brighter and offer more depth. The rye spice and toasted wood are bolder. I get a nice caramel and red fruit note to round out the nose.

Taste – 89 out of 100 Points

Buttered rye bread with savory cherry preserve fortified with baking spice. There’s also toasted oak and charred peanuts to add depth. It reminds me of a dry Sangria that hasn’t been overly sweetened. I get a blooming white pepper and charred cinnamon that shows up at the back of the palate and moves forward.

Finish – 88 out of 100 Points

The finish is medium to long with dry toasted oak, charred sweet cinnamon, and just a hint of orange zest and sangria.

Complexity – 89 out of 100 Points

This bonded rye whiskey has good depth with interesting flavors that are layered for complexity. Because of that, Old Overholt Bottled in Bond can be enjoyed neat and would make some interesting cocktails. I’d like to spike some Sangria this summer with it.

Value – 93 out of 100 Points

It’s an under $30 rye whiskey with solid flavor, balance, and complexity. Buy it when you see it and keep your bunkers stocked.

Verdict – Silver 89.6 out of 100 Points

The Bourbon Bard Silver Medal

Old Overholt 11 Year Old Rye Whiskey Review

Full Review Coming Soon. Old Overholt 11YO was an Ohio-only release.

Old Overholt Rye Whiskey 114 Proof Review

Full Review Coming Soon. Old Overholt 114 was an Ohio-only release.

Old Overholt Rye Whiskey 86 Proof Review

Full Review Coming Soon

Old Overholt Rye Whiskey 80 Proof Review

Old Overholt Rye Whiskey 80 Proof

Old Overholt Rye Whiskey 80 Proof (Discontinued)
Old Overholt 80 Proof (Discontinued)Details
Off the StillUnknown
In the BarrelUnknown
In the Bottle80 Proof
ABV40%
MashbillAt Least 51% Rye in Mashbill
Distilled and AgedClermont, KY
AgeNAS (Rumored 3YO)
Suggested MSRP$16.99
DistilleryJim Beam Distillery
568 Happy Hollow Rd.
Clermont, KY 40110
ProsRefreshing Palate
ConsLacked Complexity
AvailabilityDiscontinued
RatingSilver 85.6 out of 100 Points
InventoryDiscontinued

The 80 proof Old Overholt was discontinued in favor of the newer 86 proof.

Nose – 86 out of 100 Points

The first aroma I pick up is blooming floral notes with rye grain undertones and smoky charred oak dancing in my olfactory system.

Taste – 87 out of 100 Points

The primary flavor is smoky. It ties everything else together. There are some subtle floral notes with a pop of strawberry mid-palate and white pepper on the side of the palate. Old Overholt 80 proof is understated and delicate. I was expecting a rye whiskey with more rough edges, so the reality was a nice surprise. The mouthfeel reminds me of a good agua fresca on a hot summer day.

Finish – 85 out of 100 Points

The finish falls a bit flat for me. I taste a darkly toasted rye bread, just a blip of floral honey, and white pepper.

Complexity – 83 out of 100 Points

Complex Old Overholt is not but I’m not mad at it. The flavors are pleasant and straightforward but are just missing elite depth.

Value – 87 out of 100 Points

Old Overholt 80 proof is a solid value under $20. Worth keeping stocked for rye whiskey newbies although not a rye that’s bold enough to stand up to a cocktail.

Verdict – Silver 85.6 out of 100 Points

The Bourbon Bard Silver Medal

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Written by Matty Sims

Matty Sims is a storyteller who loves bourbon. He has been drinking and studying whiskey for over 10 years. He has also been featured on sites like Bourbon Sippers, Explore Whiskey, and Inside Hook, partnered with dozens of distilleries, and reviewed hundreds of whiskeys.
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